Not an architect or planner, just somebody who cares about housing and the housed.

102 comments By PAUL BIRD

  • Please ask them to take down that awful "security screen" above the desk if you have any influence on this proposal. It was the one thing that spoiled my visit two years ago. Images from the series From Here to Modernity show it absent and the look of the foyer will be greatly improved by its removal.

    Commented on: 2013-11-15T13:07:14.287

    Lubetkin's Finsbury Health Centre

    Lubetkin centre’s vital signs are good

  • The tunnel is more important than flats which will be sold overseas and left empty.

    Commented on: 2014-01-24T10:48:43.960

    Battersea Power Station regeneration

    Developers worry over London sewer

  • I do wish they would set back the top floors, and perhaps the floor below, to create terraces for residents, improve the appearance and sunlight to the street.

    Commented on: 2014-01-31T11:14:19.680

    NW Cambridge Lot 3: key-worker homes designed by Mecanoo

    First images of £1bn Cambridge Uni scheme

  • MAE should be on this list. I regard that omission as Peabody's loss.

    Commented on: 2014-02-06T09:28:16.677

    Pitman Tozer Architects Pembury Youth Hall

    Peabody names small projects winners

  • Given that it was Boris who talked about Parker Morris + 10% and that within that article we learn it was "Alex Ely, partner at mæ architects – the practice which drew up the new guidelines" then surely Boris must fight this or be seen to be going back on his word.

    Commented on: 2014-02-14T12:31:35.353

    Ed Lister

    Deputy mayor promises fight over space standards threat

  • @JamesFrancis Well said.

    Commented on: 2014-02-16T16:04:26.373

    Mount Pleasant

    Residents' anger over architects' Heatherwick attack

  • In his own terms Andrew Whittaker is right that he should be free to offer the market what it will buy.
    The problem has nothing to do with the market. It is the lack of an alternative that is creating the problem with regard to space standards.
    In the 1970s a young couple would have been able to apply for and obtain the council tenancy to a one or two bedroom flat built to PM standards, at a rent they could afford, and then save for a deposit on a house over two or three years, or remain there happily as council tenants.
    Owing to the severe shortage of suitable council / social / LHA accommodation this alternative is no longer available and they are forced into the hands of the market and its tiny starter homes.
    The lesson I draw from this is that the free market in housing only works when there is a publicly funded alternative to compare it to, in order that standards are maintained by example.
    Is it any wonder the free market continues to yell about "subsidised" public housing? Which it is not since in the long run it pays for itself.

    Commented on: 2014-02-23T10:36:59.223

    Trellick Tower

    Do we need national space standards for housing?

  • @CassieO'Keyboard Reading that Islington doc reminds me of parts of my blog. Thank heavens common sense on housing design has filtered through to one borough. Who knows perhaps it will catch on?

    Commented on: 2014-02-22T20:02:23.737

    Trellick Tower

    Do we need national space standards for housing?

  • @CassieO'Keyboard
    Thank you.

    Commented on: 2014-02-21T18:18:40.813

    Trellick Tower

    Do we need national space standards for housing?

  • Cassie O'Keyboard
    Do you have a link to the Islington policy please? I'm delighted to hear that they are imposing standards.

    Commented on: 2014-02-21T14:45:29.610

    Trellick Tower

    Do we need national space standards for housing?

  • I think Paul Finch addressed this some time ago. Basically the builders will sell whatever they can get away with. The relevant paragraph is obvious:-

    Commented on: 2014-02-21T13:17:09.560

    Trellick Tower

    Do we need national space standards for housing?

  • @RogerBarnett
    From Interim London Housing Design Guide
    "Based on the space standards study (appendix 1), the recommended minimum area of a one person, one bedroom dwelling is 37 sq m
    where the dwelling has a shower room, and 39 sq m where the dwelling
    has a bathroom"
    Have standards been watered down or is the London Plan for all and the LHDG just for publicly funded?

    Commented on: 2014-02-19T20:13:11.843

    Rogers YMCA

    Rogers and YMCA unveil £30k flatpack home

  • Trailer park trash. Sorry. I welcome the enthusiasm but this isn't the answer to a housing crisis for the young.

    Commented on: 2014-02-19T10:21:09.527

    Rogers YMCA

    Rogers and YMCA unveil £30k flatpack home

  • Wrong place wrong time, that site could be a new Churchill Gardens only even better. What a lost opportunity.

    Commented on: 2014-02-21T10:35:58.203

    Convoys Wharf masterplan by Farrells

    Convoys Wharf decision delayed

  • There used to be comments here, where did they go? If they're back then fine.

    Commented on: 2014-02-24T09:30:26.223

    Rogers YMCA

    YMCA wants more Rogers' £30k homes

  • Shipping containers would be far cheaper to convert and a precedent has already been set in Brighton.
    Like the Rogers shed they can also "that they can make use of sites that would otherwise be unavailable" and a visit to Container City in East London will demonstrate to anybody who cares to visit their adaptability to the site.
    Personally I'd rather the money was spent on proper buildings.

    Commented on: 2014-02-27T10:00:01.390

    Rogers YMCA

    Are temporary structures an answer to the housing crisis?

  • @AbeHayeem Well said. This all started with the Tories in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham where they developed ideas for ridding their borough of council tenants. It has been taken up by other boroughs.

    Sadly, they seem to be winning and I can't see the tide turning until May 2015, nor until a change of Mayor in London.

    But we must plan ahead and a new group called Social Housing Under Threat or SHOUT are about to launch a new campaign and their aims are here:-

    Commented on: 2014-03-07T10:48:29.967

    Joseph Rykwert

    Joseph Rykwert: 'Build more affordable housing in London'

  • It doesn't say "vibrant". That's a good start.

    Commented on: 2014-03-06T14:23:24.137

    Studio Egret West's preferred option scheme for the Alton Estate - Allbrook Square

    Studio Egret West unveils Alton Estate redevelopment

  • "It does not take a great deal of environmental expertise to appreciate that a single-aspect flat is more susceptible to overheating than its triple-aspect equivalent. Cross-ventilation is one of the most effective means to naturally cool a dwelling and a single-aspect plan renders this impossible."

    "And yet, it has been expedient for several years now for housebuilders to cram scores of single-aspect properties onto city-centre developments to meet density and commercial targets."

    I rest my case.

    Commented on: 2014-04-30T11:59:49.653

    London sunset

    How to be cool: Tackling overheating in UK homes

  • "The underlying message is that you don’t really count unless you own your home."

    The Tories long term aim appears to be to disenfranchise all those who cannot afford to own their own home, as you say, and this is at its most visible in London where the attack on council estates continues apace where the de facto result appears to be to displace the former council tenants on secure tenancies in favour of wealthier incomers and force former residents to the outskirts if not out of London altogether. This ties in very well with the 25%-30% figure Ken Livingstone quotes in the film Utopia London as being the percentage of people never likely to be able to afford to buy their own home (I'm ignoring right to buy which has been a catastrophe for social housing). One estate under threat as I write being Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth where the Labour administration are behaving like a proxy for the Tories.

    Commented on: 2015-10-16T11:11:13.683

    Julia Park, head of research at Levitt Bernstein

    The Housing Bill simply doesn’t add up